Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion, “HaShavuah” Selected Excerpts
Question: Does the order of my internal actions in relation to the Creator coincide in the case when I feel bad and in the case when I feel good?
Answer: On the spiritual path, bad feelings are not suffering in the usual sense, but the sufferings of love.
Imagine that you place an order in a restaurant. Why isn’t it brought right away even if everything is ready? They give you time to talk with your companion or just to sit, and this is no accident. Once, my friend was choosing a coffee maker for his office and wanted a machine that would take 15 minutes to prepare one serving. He needed time for a quiet conversation with clients.
This is what is called preparing desires, which we usually ignore. We want to “swallow” everything as quickly as possible, but this approach is incorrect. Because of it, we do not feel the taste in life, the meaning in life. Spiritual concealment is needed to cause a strong, firm desire in us.
Question: What should fill this time of delay before meeting the Creator?
Answer: I make a preparation, yearn for Him in the right way, and, then, I can discern the relationship and find contact. It is said, “I will eat what has been prepared in advance.” I do not discover anything new; my revelation is a direct result of this completed preparation.
Even now, I am in the world of Infinity, but I do not see it, do not notice the connection between people, do not distinguish the actions of the Creator, and do not feel the waves of this force, which changes everything. My eyes can see only separate, small phenomena. Thus, everything depends on preparation.
The problem is that I choose for myself a coffee machine with this or that “time of preparation,” but the preparation period is not set by me, and I do not know when it is over. So, you should hurry. It is very important how we cope with the preparatory stage. It is already underway and the fate of the entire world is here at this point.
Question: How can we apply every effort so as not to lose time?
Answer: First of all, are you trying to bestow to the Creator, or do you just want to get your “coffee” sooner? For whom is the pleasure of your efforts intended? After all, you have a chance to bring Him pleasure. What is it for you: a burden or an honorable right? If it is a right, then you want to finish the job quickly and prepare all the best for Him, and if it is a burden, then you evade it to the last moment. “It is a deadline, and there is nothing I can do; I must act.” The approach determines everything.
You can speed up the “coffee” cooking time without having to wait 15 minutes. Since The Book of Zohar was revealed and the science of Kabbalah came into the world, you can quickly complete the process and reach the end of correction. Don’t wait until 6,000 years pass; do it today! If you were given the means, time is not a function. If you wait, you advance in “due time,” according to the program of Nature, without adding your efforts in order to show your results to the Creator. So, accelerate, unite with friends, keep the intention all the time, strive for the goal, and understand that all the disturbances on your path are good for you. They help you connect with the friends, studies, and intention. Since you were given the opportunity, you must realize it.
Question: But all the friends already are doing this. So, where is the problem?
Answer: You do not ask. You are given an opportunity to ask. So, ask!
Question: But we are thinking about and asking this all the time.
Answer: If you had asked as you are supposed to, wouldn’t you have received a response? So, your request is not the right one yet. It is lacking either quantity or quality of effort, and the most important thing here is quality. Baal HaSulam writes about it in the 18th paragraph of The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot: and, if one practices Torah and fails to remove the evil inclination from himself, it is either that he has been negligent in giving the necessary labor and exertion in the practice of Torah—as it is written, “I have not labored but found, do not believe”—or, perhaps, one did put in the necessary amount of labor, but has been negligent in the quality.
I received an awakening from the Creator. He lit a spark in me and now I must wake myself further, adding quantity and working on quality, to check why and for what do I do this, to what do I aspire. In whole, I need a vessel, a desire, a need for the right amount and quality. If I gather the necessary measure for the revelation of the upper Light, It will be manifested immediately. It is here; it is ready.
In physics, there is a concept of “quantum,” a minimal “portion” of light. So, when I have a need for a quantum of Light, I will reveal it on the first level of Nefesh. Then, I will form an even greater need, I will want “quantum squared,” and will reveal the Light of Ruach. At the same time, the vessel grows both quantitatively and qualitatively.
What we need is the desire. For that, we are always talking about self-annulment and restriction and we organize workshops in order to reveal, to “whiten” the desire.
So, why, after the lesson, don’t I feel a concern about the friends, to want the fire of desire to propel them forward? Why don’t I feel the same concern on their part and why don’t I flare up from their flashes? There is no care, no shared responsibility for us, for the world, and especially for the Creator who gave us a chance. In essence, our concern for us and for the world is shallow and egoistic, but we need to start somewhere. In fact, we have a chance to bestow to the Creator, but we do not want to turn toward this direction at all.
In short, we still have much to do. Don’t wait until the coffee is ready.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/11/13, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
Question: What is “round” egoism?
Answer: At present, all humanity has become a common globally interconnected system. Our dependence on each other is manifested in everything: in business, culture, communication, politics, and the economy. But we do not know how to work with it because we are small individual egoists. And now, as we are entering this new system, we do not understand its laws because we are transitioning from a linear, discrete system to an analog system.
In a discrete system, everything depends on me, on my actions, and in a mutually closed, interdependent system, little depends on me. It turns out that if I relate linearly, directly, discretely to my enterprise, business, I see myself dependent on many factors, which I cannot calculate.
That is why politicians, economists, and investors get together at all sorts of G8 and G20 summits and cannot find any viable solutions to continue a normal operation of the system. After all, the law, which we suddenly face in our development, became integral.
An analog system is different from a discrete system because all the factors in it are dependent on each other. But we cannot take into account such a volume of data because within ourselves we are not like that; we have not ascended yet to that level. That is why we have lost the reins, the steering wheel, the ability to manage, and the world around us becomes unmanageable; we do not know exactly where we are being carried. There is no clear entrance-exit; there are just some consequences that we have not foreseen. It is very difficult to live in such a world.
That is why it is necessary to think about how we can still adapt to this new state, a new system, in which we suddenly find ourselves. It is the next level of our development, which has never existed in human history. But now it is already a given.
From KabTV’s “Personnel Secrets” 2/3/13
Answer: We can only imagine purely theoretical analog and discrete systems that many of us have learned about in college. But when we find ourselves in the analog system, we feel helpless because we don’t correspond to it on the inside, because in this system one needs to consider the desires, intentions, feelings, and attitudes of everyone around.
We are used to operating like in the army, following orders. This is the way our enterprises, businesses, the education system in schools, and other organizations and systems operate. But today we see that this doesn’t work because apparently a person needs to change in order to suit the integral system.
A person doesn’t change automatically. The external system that he is entering is round, and the person is linear, and in the end, he isn’t able to operate in this new system. He doesn’t understand how to operate within it.
In order to correspond to the integral system, the person must become integral. He must feel like he is a part of the group, meaning at least part of the group where he works. Moreover, he must feel this part internally; in other words, he constantly needs to be changing and be connected with everyone.
He must feel satisfaction from work, which he is not getting now. And he can’t be forced to feel it simply because the past systems suddenly stop working and no longer affect him. The only way to influence him is through the feeling of integration in the team, the common movement, the feeling of community. No matter where he is, no matter the team, he must feel the foundation, the wholesomeness of this system, and his dependence on it and its dependence on him.
From KabTV’s “Professional Secrets” 2/3/13
Baal HaSulam, Letter 47: Therefore, turn away from all the fictitious dealings, and pay attention to think and to come up with the right inventions to connect your hearts as one heart… and start connecting lovingly to the right extent, and then you will find a taste in it.
Question: What are “fictitious dealings”?
Answer: Fictitious dealings are all sorts of efforts that are not aimed at attaining the spiritual goal. This includes any effort that is above the effort to provide the body with the basic necessities and dedicating everything else to attaining the goal.
Any effort that is even a little bit off this track is fictitious, which means that it only seems to you that you will gain from it, but in fact, it immediately pushes you to the path of “in its time,” the path of suffering.
But this goal may not be directed towards the Creator (!), and I don’t know the right direction, and it seems that this goal is real. If I invest my powers in it, then, in return, I receive sufferings that push me from behind instead of a gain. These are called “fictitious dealings.”
It seems that I profit from them and that I yearn for the real goal. Even material profit: physical profit, money, respect, knowledge, all these eventually lead me, after many efforts along the way, to a void, to sufferings.
This fictitious goal, the fictitious dealings, can be very complex and complicated. It may take 30 to 40 years for me to finally realize that the goal was fictitious. It isn’t just one business and may very well be many dealings. Everything that you do beyond the basic necessities of the body belongs to these fictitious dealings.
Dealing with the basic necessities is a must, since you have no choice. All your attention, 100% of it, must be focused in one direction—on the Creator. Then, to the extent that you have to exert yourself for your family, it is already a necessity because all your thought will be focused on the Creator.
It is not clear that this goal is fictitious. It is a big question for you. Even if you are aware of it rationally, you disagree with it emotionally. Then you find yourself in an inner struggle, not knowing what to do. You make different concessions, forgive different minor weaknesses, thinking, “Well, never mind, I was a bit distracted.” Fictitious dealings appear in many different manners.
So, how can we clarify which dealings are fictitious? Everything that does not relate to the group, to the teacher, to the study, to dissemination, to the inclination to unity with the Creator—are all fictitious dealings! If you focus all your efforts on the goal, then the family worries are also included in it. Then you discover that the Creator has arranged all these things for you in the most perfect way, but only if your family doesn’t object to your path and allows you to study.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/4/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Opinion (George Soros, investor, philanthropist, chairman of Soros Fund Management): “As Open Europe blog notes, Soros fears that ‘there is a real danger that the [Euro] solution to the financial problem creates a really profound political problem.’ The interview with Dutch TV shows Soros’ grave concerns that the Southern nations are ‘being pushed unwittingly… into a long lasting depression,’ as Germany’s austerity program is ‘counter-productive – cannot actually succeed.’ Just as we recently noted the similarities between the European Union and the Soviet Union, so Soros believes the ‘Euro’ itself is ‘bound to break up the European Union.’ It may take generations, he notes, as a terrible tragedy of ‘lost political freedom and economic prosperity.’”
Opinion (Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament): “As President of the European Parliament I was forced to acknowledge that in October 2012 the EU was already essentially insolvent. Although the bills for November and December had not yet been submitted, in October the shortfall already amounted to EUR 9 billion. … In a laborious process which did indeed see some Member States refuse for weeks on end to make outstanding payments, two-thirds of the shortfall of EUR 9 billion was scraped together. The remainder was carried over to the financial year 2013, as were the shortfalls for November and December 2012, which had not even been taken into account in the supplementary budget. Accordingly, we effectively began 2013 with a deficit of EUR 16 billion.”
My Comment: Undoubtedly, any attempt to impose unification without appropriate education to change a person from egoistic to integral will give the same results in different countries and systems because we are dealing with the system of nature, that is, with science, so we should comply with its laws!
Opinion (Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in economics and professor at Columbia University): “The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos has lost some of its pre-crisis panache. After all, before the meltdown in 2008, the captains of finance and industry could trumpet the virtues of globalization, technology, and financial liberalization, which supposedly heralded a new era of relentless growth. …
“Those days are gone. But Davos remains a good place to get a sense of the global zeitgeist.
“It goes without saying that developing and emerging-market countries no longer look at the advanced countries as they once did. But a remark by one mining company executive from a developing country caught the spirit of change. In response to one development expert’s heartfelt despair that unfair trade treaties and unfulfilled promises of aid have cost the developed countries their moral authority, he retorted: ‘The West never had any moral authority.’ Colonialism, slavery, the splintering of Africa into small countries, and a long history of resource exploitation may be matters of the distant past to the perpetrators, but not so to those who suffered as a result.
“If there is a single topic that concerned the assembled leaders the most, it is economic inequality. The shift in the debate from just a year ago seems dramatic: no one even mentions the notion of trickle-down economics anymore, and few are willing to argue that there is a close congruence between social contributions and private rewards.
“While the realization that America is not the land of opportunity that it has long claimed to be is as disconcerting to others as it is to Americans, inequality of opportunity at the global scale is even greater….
“The Associated Press organized a sobering session on technology and unemployment: Can countries (particularly in the developed world) create new jobs – especially good jobs – in the face of modern technology that has replaced workers with robots and other machines in any task that can be routinized? …
“Those suffering the most are the young, whose life prospects will be badly hurt by the extended periods of unemployment that they face today. …
“… If the euro was to survive in the long run, there would have to be a fiscal and banking union, which would require more political unification than most Europeans are willing to accept. …
“In the last 25 years, we have moved from a world dominated by two superpowers to one dominated by one, and now to a leaderless, multi-polar world.”
My Comment: It may seem that the world is better and more equal without strong leaders, but in the right system, there is always a hierarchy, as in the body, the one who is more caring and responsible is higher, as in the body, the brain and other vital organs that live not for themselves, but for the entire body.
No one can tell me what I should do. I need to clarify this and to decide by myself which goal is fictitious and which goal is real. I have to take the responsibility for the steps I take. Otherwise, why was I given this life?
My life is like being in a middle of a swamp in which there are only a few places I can step on to cross it and not sink in. It has to be my decision. No one else can move my feet and put them in the right place.
If I slip, I will drown in the swamp of life for several decades. If this happens, I have to understand that it had to happen. I should do whatever is in my power to clarify everything in advance. If later I still make a mistake and drown for several decades, it is a sign that it had to have happened. I don’t know why and for what reason now, but I will find that out later. It is like it says about the direct and the indirect Providence, “Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before”.
Question: How can I make my own decision if I am totally under the influence of the environment, in a spiritual society or an external one?
Answer: This is all your freewill—to be impressed by the spiritual society as much as you can and not to go around with “your nose up high,” considering yourself superior to everyone else. Otherwise you will not be able to be positively impressed by them.
But this doesn’t mean that you can come to the friends and ask them what you should do: whether to go abroad to make money or not. You mustn’t let others decide for you. Your decision has to be the result of you inner clarifications, the result of your efforts to subdue yourself before the society, which means before the spiritual idea, before the yearning for connection and unity, for advancement towards adhesion with the Creator above reason. This is what the society, the collective force, means to me. To the extent that you subdue yourself before the spiritual idea, you will decide what is important for you in life.
Then I look back and don’t see my body! It already disappears somewhere in my previous life, long since eliminated from my path. I have to provide it with some basic food and I do that. Basic necessities mean that I do something since I must, since I have to take care of the body. I force myself to think about my animal body, which is called a basic necessity. But in all my other thoughts I am in the group, in the connection, and then I make the right decision.
This connection sustains me and doesn’t let me leave. I am so strongly adhered to it that I can worry about some basic necessity only by forcing myself. We can test this by how happy I might feel if I didn’t have to take care of my body but could only worry about the group and the Creator 100%, not leaving even 1% for myself.
But when I begin to worry only about the basic necessities of my animal body, I suddenly realize that it isn’t mine! Then dealing with my body and my family become spiritual work. I felt that they were mine as long as I received some egoistic profit from them, but if I don’t receive any profit from these necessary dealings, it is simply a game that I was given, a means for spiritual clarification.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/4/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Answer: It isn’t only the awakening from Above, but it is actually all our existence that is possible thanks to the upper Light, which constantly sustains us, like a magnet holding a piece of iron in the air, and performs all sorts of actions on us.
There is no doubt about it, the matter of creation wouldn’t be able to exist, wouldn’t change, and wouldn’t feel itself without the upper Light. The Light does everything.
The right response on our part is to try to increase our sensitivity and our refined understanding towards what the upper force does with us, to understand how we should respond in order to be exactly like it, and to adhere to its attributes, to the changes that it makes and to its influence on us.
This means that in every bulge or indentation that the Creator makes in me, I immediately join His action and dress in it, like the desire of Nukva on the desire of the male. It turns out that we constantly cooperate in the general action, like partners. Thusly I should try to operate throughout my life, and then I attain the state of wholeness called adhesion.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/3/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam